University of the East bucked a slow first set to hand University of the Philippines its third consecutive loss, 19-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Sunday.
The Red Warriors were already ahead, 21-19, in the fourth set before the Fighting Maroons threatened to send the game to a decider with Angelo Lagando unleashing a personal 3-0 spurt that gave his team a slim 22-21 advantage.
Kenneth Culabat converted a cross-court hit to stop the bleeding for UE before Giles Torres scored a quick and blocked Lagando to put the Red Warriors at match point. John Michael Andaya finished the game with a rejection.
Culabat finished with a team-high 19 points on 19 attacks to go along with 19 excellent receptions for the Red Warriors.
Bouncing back from a five-set loss to Ateneo, UE tied University of Sto. Tomas and Far Eastern University at the second spot with identical 2-1 win-loss record
“Nung una kasi first set medyo mabigat yung feeling. Hindi sila nag-e-enjoy saka basa yung middle namin kanina nung first set,” said UE head coach Jerome Guhit.
The Fighting Maroons figured in a tight encounter against the Red Warriors early in the opening set but managed to pull away late, 25-19, all thanks to their strong net defense and an impressive showing from the service line that saw them take four aces and four blocks in the first set alone.
UE immediately bounced back in the second set and went on a hot 12-3 start to put the brakes on the surging UP. The Recto-based spikers then turned it to a 21-10 spread after a Xjhann Camaymayan block on Emmanuel Advincula en route to a 25-17 win to equalize the game.
The Red Warriors sustained their fine performance and kick-started the third frame with a 10-4 rally which they sustained until the end to take a 2-1 advantage over the Fighting Maroons.
“So we made adjustments, medyo hindi kilala yung isang middle mas mabilis ‘yon so siya muna saka si Lloyd para mabago yung tempo,” said Guhit.
Lloyd Josafat added 13 points for UE while Camaymayan and John Paul Mangahis had 10 points apiece. Mangahis also finished with 17 excellent receptions and three excellent digs.
On the other hand, Lagando paced UP with a game-high 21 points while Louis Gamban added 13 points, 28 excellent receptions, and five excellent digs as the Fighting Maroons dropped their third consecutive game.
UE takes on De La Salle University on Wednesday at 2:00 PM at the Philsports Arena. Meanwhile, UP looks to bounce back against National University earlier that day at 12:00 NN.